Curiosities

July 25, 2014

Christian Grey: Coming to a Theatre Near You 0

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The theatrical trailer for the film adaptation of 50 Shades of Grey was released this week. If you’re keeping track, that means we’ve now got a film based on fan fiction written about another film adapted from a schlocky romance novel involving vampires. (Come at me, Twilight fans.)

July 24, 2014

What We Can Learn from Goodnight Moon 0

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Aimee Bender, Year in Reading alum and author of, most recently, The Color Master, writes for The New York Times about the structural genius of Goodnight Moon: “[The story] does two things right away: It sets up a world and then it subverts its own rules even as it follows them.”

July 24, 2014

The Power & Popularity of Poetry 0

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In a piece for the Los Angeles Review of Books, Jonathan Farmer responds to the recent pieces in the New York Times that ask poets to debate the question “does poetry matter?” As Farmer points out, ” it’s a bit like asking a bunch of religious figures if religion matters,” but the conversation is worth […]

July 24, 2014

New Books and Great Movies 0

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Now that the summer blockbusters are winding now, we can all focus on book-to-film adaptations. Kirkus Reviews has a list of new books that would make for great movies, some of which, like Christopher Beha‘s Arts & Entertainments, The Millions has reviewed. Pair with our dream casting of a film version of The Goldfinch.

July 24, 2014

Burnt-out with Didion 0

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Alice Bolin writes for The Believer about Joan Didion, Los Angeles, and Play It As It Lays. The novel was also listed as one of The Millions‘s “Burnt-out Summer Reads,” so if there’s ever a time to read it, it’s probably now.

July 24, 2014

A Writer Away 0

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“War veterans experience something called hypervigilance, a mental state of continual alertness for danger. I have a minor version of this, a writer’s version. For me, danger lies in the sound of a footstep, a spoken word. Anyone could destroy the fragile construction I have to make each day.” Roxana Robinson writes for VQR about the […]

July 23, 2014

“A merry monarch, scandalous and poor” 0

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John Wilmot, second Earl of Rochester, was a dear friend (even protégé) of King Charles II. He was also a sharp-tongued poet who called out the same King on his bedroom behavior: “His sceptre and prick are of a length; / And she may sway the one who plays with th’other.”  

July 23, 2014

Kafka’s “The Country Doctor” as a film 0

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The internet’s repository of Franz Kafka-inspired literary treats seems to have no bounds. This latest: his excellent short story “The Country Doctor” has been adapted by Japanese filmmaker Kōji Yamamura into a 20-minute animated film (subtitled). Kafka adaptations clearly aren’t going anywhere. Pair with our essay on the subtle art of rereading his most famous story.

July 23, 2014

The anticipations of a Most Anticipated book 0

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Not every worthy book finds the audience it deserves as quickly as Edan Lepucki’s California. John Warner writes about the long aftermath of finding his debut, The Funny Man, featured in our 2011 Most Anticipated Book Preview: “I wondered, what if? Maybe this was going to be the next phase of my life, and when people asked […]

July 23, 2014

It’s all about the characters 0

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In the world of selling books, it’s not all about the sentences. At Ploughshares, agent Eric Nelson argues: A fresh plot matters and unusual characters do, too. “The most interesting books have characters who do the opposite of what we’d do… Imagine Hamlet, if Hamlet took decisive action. Horror movies wouldn’t exist at all without the idiot who always suggests they split up.”